It was Sunday night and she was arriving Thursday night. Our 10th anniversary was five days away and I had no idea what to do. Although she likes flowers, jewelry and gadgets, she also likes it when I make things for her. But, what could be made that wouldn’t look like it was done the day before? Then, seemingly out of nowhere, came an idea, but I need to make a bending iron first.
A bit of internet searching turned up this great idea for making a bending iron: use an electric charcoal starter inside a galvanized pipe!
Go to the hardware store and acquire parts.
Use a center-punch to make a divot in the pipe so the drill bit will stay in the right place.
Make a couple of wood V-blocks to hold the pipe so it doesn’t roll around on the drill press. Use the wooden clamps to keep the aligned then clamp & drill. Use cutting fluid for a better cut. I dripped it on using a glue syringe. Thread the hole with ¼-20 tap (I think that’s what it was.)
An adjustable bevel gauge and small square are used to establish the bend angle of the support legs (made from ¼” threaded rod).
Clamp the threaded rod into the vice and bend it using a piece of piece of piping I had laying around.
Crap! That is too sharp of a bend for the threaded rod. Two smaller bends will do the trick though.
Thread the bent rods into the pipe and tighten the nuts down.
Use a piece of ½” plywood, drill the holes accordingly and double-nut the pipe to the board.
The next step is to shape the electric charcoal starter to fit inside the pipe. No pictures were taken because I was focused on not burning myself on the red hot iron. It’s not difficult; just take your time. Plug in the iron, let it get red hot, then use the metal vice to slowly squeeze the irons together until they fit inside the pipe. Easy peasy.
A dimmer switch is used to control the temperature. It should be easy enough to take the handle apart and get to the wires. Or not…
Plan B: wire the dimmer switch in-line.
It may not look pretty…
…but it works! Here’s the first test piece:
…and the anniversary gift: A candy box made from cherry.
Hope you enjoyed the pic-story! Thanks for reading!